Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team have arrested Adamu Garuba, aka Honourable Ibrahim, for allegedly defrauding a Chinese of N30.6 million.
The IRT Unit, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, alleged that Garuba, working with his sister-in-law, Rita Waziri, and others still at large, specialised in defrauding contractors, interested in road construction contracts from the Kaduna State Government.
The suspects were arrested after they defrauded a Chinese Engineer, identified simply as Su, of the sum of N30.6 million under the guise of assisting him to land a road construction contract from the Kaduna State Government.
Su, residing in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was approached in July 2018 by one Mayowa, a member of the syndicate, now in jail over a separate fraud case.
Mayowa intimated Su that the Kaduna State Government was searching for contractors to rehabilitate a 14km road in Kagoro area of the state.
Mayowa, in his bid to convince Su that the contract was genuine, brought in Garuba, who he presented as Honourable Ibrahim, a serving member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly, who is also the Chairman of Budget and Planning Committee of the House.
Playing his part smartly, Garuba informed Su that he would have to register his company with the Kaduna State Public Procurement Authority.
He told him that the process of the registration was N1.6 million.
The Police said: “After Su paid the N1.6 million, Mayowa and Garuba invited him to the Kaduna State Government Secretariat, Kaduna State.
“They took him to a makeshift office, which proudly displays pictures of members of the syndicate.
“The pictures captioned them as representatives of the Kaduna State Government.
“Rita Waziri, whose picture was also on the wall, played the role of the Commissioner of Works and Housing.
“Another member, identified as Captain, presently at large, presented himself as Commissioner of Finance.
“The sum of N28 million was taken from Su after negotiation of the contract.
“A fake contract awarding letter was issued to Su, but a few months after the letter was issued, he became suspicious of the deal.
“He contacted Garuba, complaining and demanding for a refund of his money.
“Garuba lured Su to Kaduna State, where he was kidnapped and a ransom of N2 million collected from him before he was released.”
Su reported his kidnap and the fraudulent activities of Garuba and his syndicate to the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.
The IG instructed Kyari and his Unit to investigate the case.
After weeks of investigations, the Unit smashed the syndicate.
In the course of investigation, it was discovered that Rita is the sister-in-law of Garuba.
Rita was first arrested and then led IRT operatives to arrest Garuba.
After the downfall of the syndicate, Garuba confessed to have received the sum of N15 million as his share from the deal.
According to him, he used the money to build a house around a choice area in Kaduna State.
He also admitted to have given Rita N200,000.
Garuba 51, married with four children, said: “I went into fraud seven years ago.
“It was late Otunba Obanla from Lagos State, who introduced me to the business.
“I met Otunba in a hotel at Kaduna State, where he was drinking.
“We became friends.
“He taught me how to defraud people looking for contracts.
“My first job was in 2013.
“I defrauded Alhaji Sani of the sum of N200,000.
“I took the money from Sani under the guise of helping him to process the registration of his company at the Kaduna State Tender Board, where he intended to procure road contracts.
“I also defrauded Alhaji Tijani of the sum of N400,000 in 2015.
“Tijani also wanted to procure contract from the Kaduna State Government.
“I defrauded a Lebanese national of the sum of N7 million.
“However, I was not the only person that executed the job.
“I got N1.5 million as my share from the deal.
“I was arrested later by policemen from the Kaduna State Police Command.
“After my release, policemen from the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad, Adeniji Adele in Lagos State came to re-arrest me.
“They made me to repay the money I got from the deal to the Lebanese man.
“In July 2018, Mayowa brought the Chinese man’s job.
“Mayowa told us that the Chinese man needed a road construction contract.
“We collected N1.5 million from the man for the registration of his company and then we took him to Kaduna State Government House.
“We used the reception of an office to execute the job.
“We were four that did the job.
“Rita, who is my elder brother’s wife, acted as the Commissioner of Works and Mayowa enlarged Rita’s picture, which he hung beside that of the Kaduna State Governor and President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.
“This made the venue of the operation to look like an office of the Kaduna State Government.
“There was one Captain that Mayowa brought into the game.
“The Captain played the role of the Commissioner of Finance, Kaduna State.
“I acted as the Honourable member of the Kaduna State House of Assembly.”
Garuba said he and other members of the syndicate told the Chinese man that the governor wanted him to rehabilitate a 14km road at Kagoro area of Southern Kaduna. The Chinese was also told that he would first have to construct a seven kilometre road, which will gulp N2 billion.
“We told him that we would get five per cent of the total cost as our share immediately he is mobilised for the contract.
“We also showed him contracts’ agreements between his company and the Kaduna State Government.
“The man paid us the sum of N28 million.
“He stopped paying when he realised that he has been defrauded.
“I got N15 million as my share because I was the person that organised the office that was used for the job.
“Mayowa got N13 million because he had other people, including the Captain, to settle.
“I was the person that settled Rita.
“I gave her N200,000.
“I used the rest of my money to develop some of my landed property in GRA, Kaduna State.
“I also built a three bedroom flat in the same GRA.
“I want to quit this business and I am ready to sell all my houses so that I will raise money to refund the Chinese man.
“I feel very ashamed of myself, especially now that I have a grandson.
“I don’t want him to know that his grandfather is a fraudster.”
Rita claimed that she was tricked into the crime.
“She insisted that her brother-in-law didn’t tell her that what they were doing was a criminal act.
Rita, a trader, said: “I have never done this before.
“It was my brother in-law that got me involved in this business.
“My brother in-law is the younger brother to my husband.
“He was the person that took me to where I snapped the picture at Banawa Shopping Complex in Kaduna State.
“That was also where they enlarged the photo that was used at the office.
“I introduced myself as the Commissioner of Works.
“After we exchanged pleasantries, I told them that I wouldn’t be staying, that I was leaving for another meeting.
“I left in Garuba’s car and headed straight to my house.
“Later that day, Garuba came and gave me N200,000.
“He didn’t tell me that the money was for the assistance I rendered to him that day.
“I thought the money was just a gift.
“I didn’t know that the Chinese man was defrauded of the sum of N30.6million.”